storm over shaheding

A plan to catch a taxi home from rehearsal fell apart when I really couldn’t pretend I can catch taxis across town every day, and the 192 bus fortuitously arrived, me pulling out play money trying to find the elusive correct change. The storm was already scintillating across the north-west horizon, behind and between the low apartment blocks and concave ascents of the mall-draped towers.

The 192 is my bus, from start to finish, minus one stop at each end. From Shaheding in the north-east, the slightly forgotten suburb, a buttress of Baiyun Shan wedged between the canyon boulevards of Tian He and Huanshi Dong Lu, in a meandering always descending path to the river, across and tying oxbows in the streets of Haizhu until it falters beside Jiangnan Hospital, a choleric spit from the Nantai Road market. I have my iPod, and my favourite seat, and for 45 minute or and hour I’m in happy-bus-land.

By the time I reached Jiangwan Bridge, much of the north-western twilight sky, clear from a holiday of industry, and swept by the storm-front’s precursors was a-light with desaturating pulses of lighting, the dropping pressure like a plane falling in turbulence, both the stomach-wheeling apparent loss of gravity, and the sense of flying upwards. Guangzhou for all its other charms, knows how to put on a good storm.

Tonight, again catching the bus back with the Gun Club and Exile on Main Street for a soundtrack, the silent inscribing of a new storm illuminated the night and overlit the city. My little bus holiday.